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October 05, 2021

Men more likely to cheat if they earn less than partner: study

Do men who cheat really outnumber their female counterparts? Is infidelity in marriage more natural to them?

It’s hard to say. Researchers suggest that men generally inflate their number of relationships and sexual partners, while women tend to be more reticent about the extent of any extramarital affairs.

But, if the polls are to be believed, men do stray more than women, and have affairs to avoid intimacy, recover their lost youth, or escape an unhappy marriage.

But a recent item goes one further, suggesting that it’s men who are economically dependent on their female partners that are more likely to wander outside the relationship. What's more, the results proved to be quite the opposite when gender and breadwinner roles were reversed.

The study found men who completely relied on their female partner's income were five times more likely to cheat than those who contributed an equal amount of money in the relationship.

Men were least likely to be unfaithful when their partners made about 75 per cent of their incomes.

6.73 per cent of men reported cheating at least once during the six-year period. Of the women in the sample, 3.33 per cent reported being unfaithful at least once during the same period.

Granted, that’s a small minority. But it does suggest that money problems, along with other relationship factors of course, adds to men’s distraction and adverse behaviour.

On a related note: Researchers at the London School of Economics recently found that men with higher IQs – who typically make more money than the rest of the pack – place greater value on monogamy and sexual exclusivity than their less intelligent peers.

But the connection between conventional sexual morality and intelligence is not mirrored in women, the researchers note.

What do you think: Is income disparity a real contributing factor here? Has it put a strain on your own relationship? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...